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More About This Law

Law Summary

In New York, adultery is still a crime.

Full Text of the Law

Link to the full text.

Section 255.17 of the state penal law states, “A person is guilty of adultery when he engages in sexual intercourse with another person at a time when he has a living spouse, or the other person has a living spouse. Adultery is a class B misdemeanor.” A class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in jail or a $500 fine.

About This Law

The New York Times City Room blog discusses this law on March 21st, 2008. The law is rarely enforced, but about a dozen people have been charged since the 1970's. The law took effect on Septembert 1st, 1907.


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